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sâmbătă, 29 septembrie 2012

Mysterious Case of Asteroid Oljato's Magnetic Disturbance

Back in the 1980s, the arrival of asteroid 2201 Oljato inside the orbit of Venus heralded a flurry of magnetic activity. Now, results from ESA's Venus Express spacecraft suggest that Oljato has lost its magnetic mojo. Dr. Christopher Russell will present an explanation for Oljato's strange behavior at the European Planetary Science Congress in Madrid on Tuesday 25th September.

Oljato orbits the Sun once every 3.2 years. During its lifetime, NASA's Pioneer Venus Orbiter observed three passages of Oljato between Venus and the Sun. Each time, there was a marked increase in the region of unusual magnetic peaks known as Interplanetary Field Enhancements (IFEs), both ahead and behind the asteroid.

Coral Hotspots Found in Deepwater Canyons off Northeast US Coast

For the first time in decades, researchers have conducted an extensive exploration for deep-sea corals and sponges in submarine canyons off the northeastern coast of the US. The survey revealed coral "hotspots," and found that a new coral habitat suitability model could help predict where corals are likely to occur. The model is being developed by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and the National Ocean Service's Biogeography Branch.

Among the canyons surveyed during the July 6-18 cruise aboard the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow were Toms, Middle Toms, and Hendrickson canyons off New Jersey, and Veatch and Gilbert canyons off Georges Bank.

Big quake was part of crustal plate breakup

Seismologists have known for years that the Indo-Australian plate of Earth's crust is slowly breaking apart, but they saw it in action last April when at least four faults broke in a magnitude-8.7 earthquake that may be the largest of its type ever recorded.

The great Indian Ocean quake of April 11, 2012 previously was reported as 8.6 magnitude, and the new estimate means the quake was 40 percent larger than had been believed, scientists from the University of Utah and University of California, Santa Cruz, report in the Sept. 27 issue of the journal Nature.